Archive for May, 2011

Meet Romantic Suspense Author Maureen A. Miller

Today I’m visited by Maureen A. Miller, a talented romantic suspense author who is currently killing it as one of the top 50 highest rated Indie authors on Amazon.com.

Maureen, you and I reconnected this year when we both went Indie, but we’d met before. Would you care to tell our readers how we met?

I ‘met’ the beautiful and talented Norah Wilson when we co-finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart awards many years ago. One thing about being a Golden Heart finalist that not many people know about is the camaraderie that goes on amongst the group.

Tell me what finaling in the Golden Heart meant for you.

It was a status to get your foot in the door.  Silhouette’s Intimate Moments line was courting my book, but it was too long of a word count at the time.

WIDOW’S TALE, your first book, helped you land that awesome rating on Amazon. Do you think there’s a resurgence of interest in contemporary Gothics?

That’s an interesting question. I believe today people associate the Gothic romance as more of a “Twilight”, or vampire-series premise. To me the traditional Gothic was anything with a dark, desperate setting.  If there is resurgence, I surely would like to pioneer it!

Tell me a little bit about your decision to go Indie. What factors influenced your decision? And did you ever dream your books would be so successful?

When WIDOW’S TALE made its rounds of word-chopping to meet the requirements of different publishing lines, it was reduced to about the size of a two-word novella.  I felt that the romance was one that I wanted to share in its entirety so I released the original length on Amazon. To my amazement it started climbing up the ranking ladder and has hovered in and out of the top 100 Romantic Suspense list on Amazon for almost two years now.  I never dreamed it would be successful.  I think I might have first published it so that I had a Christmas present ready for my grandmother. :-)

I see you are also writing for Carina, the epress imprint of romance giant Harlequin. How has that experience compared with your indie publishing efforts?

You can now officially call me a ‘mutt’ because I am both self and traditionally published.  There is a fraternity of self-published authors, where the support system is unlike anything you have experienced. But I was pleasantly surprised to experience the support and enthusiasm of my fellow Carina Press authors as well. One thing I have learned in this industry is that there is a lot of misconception going on. Self-publishing does not mean selfish. It means selfless. Traditional publishing does not mean aristocratic, it means heartening.

Well said, Maureen! Okay, for any fellow-writers in the audience, have you done anything special to get your books (especially the self-published ones) noticed?

I carry around a sign that says, “Will wash your car if you read my book.”

LOL! That should do it! Okay, being serious for a moment, as Indie authors, it’s easy for our books to get lost in the veritable ocean of self-published offerings. Is there another Indie author (or three) you’d like to give a shout-out to, whose books are worth searching for?

That is tough as there are so many talented Indie authors I know and have had the pleasure of reading their books…yourself included!

I enjoy the Red Cross of Gold series from Brendan Carroll.

I am currently reading the suspense novels of Vicky Tyley.

Maria E. Schneider’s mysteries are fun and Debra L. Martin’s science fiction is exciting.

But again, I could go on…

Thank you for being my guest today, Maureen. You’re every bit as charming in cyber-space as you are in … well, I guess I’ve only known you in cyber-space! Maybe we can remedy that in New York next month, at the RWA convention. In the meantime, happy writing!

Thank you, Miss Norah, for having me. You are a gracious hostess!

You can find Maureen on the web at www.maureenamiller.com. Go visit her. And buy her books. They rock.

A real thrill ride!

Fight or FlightFight or Flight by Natalie J. Damschroder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Regan Miller has been trying to protect her daughter Kelsey since even before Kelsey was born. Eighteen years ago, a pregnant Regan’s boyfriend was murdered. He lived just long enough to warn her to run and protect the child. But now, Kelsey is grown and has gone off to college. Just when Regan thinks she might be able to relax her insane vigilence, the attack she’s always feared comes. They’ve finally found her! From that point on, it’s an adrenaline-spiking thrill ride. Regan is a kick-ass heroine, and she taught her daughter well, but this time, no matter how far and fast they run, they can’t escape. Regan is forced to trust her charming, handsome neighbor Tyler Sloan, who turns out to be much more than he seemed. But when the bad guys seem to anticipate their every move, she begins to think she was wrong to trust Tyler.

Damschroder keeps us on the edge of our seats with the mystery (who wants Kelsey and why?) and with the thrilling action/fight scenes. My absolute favorite scene in the book – actually, maybe the best scene I’ve read in a while -takes place in a men’s bathroom. It was killer!

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a romantic suspense with lots of action/adventure. It’s all there in spades!

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Review: LIVING IN COLOR, by Trish Milburn

Living in ColorLiving in Color by Trish Milburn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished this book last night with a sigh of happiness (though not without a few Kleenexes en route). 

In the wake of her father’s death, Sabrina is in the small Tennessee town of Grainger to help her 65-year-old mother take care of details and get resettled in town. Though Sabrina loves her mom, she can’t say the same about her dad, whom she hated. She has a lot of bottled up anger about her mother spending all those years under her father’s ruthless control, ruled by his fists. You feel like you’re in Sabrina’s skin when she chafes at the way her mother grieves for her father and still bows to his authority.

Instead of exploding at her mother, Sabrina persuades her that the two of them should go on a road trip together. And oh boy, what a trip it turns out to be! It’s a voyage of self-discovery for both women. Powerful, moving, inspiring. I loved it!

This author also writes wonderful sweet romance and YA, but I’m hoping she’ll try her hand at women’s fiction again.

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Book Recommendation – Pamela Clare’s BREAKING POINT

Breaking Point (I-Team, #5)Breaking Point by Pamela Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, where to start? This book had everything I love. A thrilling action adventure plot, an amazing larger-than-life hero in Zach (former Navy SEAL turned Deputy US Marshal), a smart, courageous heroine in journalist Natalie Benoit, and a scorching-hot romance. Pamela Clare gives both Zach and Natalie a ton of baggage – some very bad stuff has already happened to these very good people – and then she heaps more bad stuff onto them. But they come through the ordeal stronger, each helping the other to heal the grievous emotional wounds of the past.

Oh, and bromance! (Sigh) This book gives us a reunion of some of my favorite heroes from Clare’s previous novels, who come together to help protect Natalie. I especially loved revisiting Julian Darcangelo and Marc Hunter. Much as I adored Zach and Gabe, I’m still hung up on Julian & Marc. The story line in BREAKING POINT could not have been tailored better for me, though I had some rough moments….

A gritty, sexy, emotionally rewarding read! I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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